Million Mile Walker Dispatch: My Saddest Pleasure, A Personal Reflection, February 2022 Issue

  Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, The highlight of this month was a personal note from the editor of ELAND Press in London, “Dear Mark, You have done Moritz proud!” This is in response to the essay they published in their newsletter, which they followed up with three ELAND books as a token of their appreciation. In Culture Watch, I’ll share a personal story about the growing efforts to ban books by school boards here in Arizona. Amongst all the craziness, a sense of humor is a must, so I’ve included Just Keep Laughing, My Writing, Interviews […]

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Allegro for Life by Earl Vincent de Berge, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I met the author and his wife, Suzanne, several years ago over lunch in Phoenix discussing fundraising strategies for an NGO they set up in Guatemala, “Seeds for a Future,” which provides training to impoverished rural women in and around Chocolá on the South coast, to improve family access to food and nutrition. I soon learned that we not only shared a love and appreciation of Guatemala and the Desert Southwest, but that Earl was also a writer and, in his case, a poet as well. I was surprised to learn that he started writing as far back as 1959 […]

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The Iguana Killer: 12 Stories of the Heart, by Alberto Rivero Rios, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  I met Alberto Rios at the Desert Nights Writers Conference at ASU in Tempe several years ago and was impressed by his literary acumen as well as his insights into the Hispanic community. I told him about my connections and interests in Latino culture and asked about participating in his literary interview show, Books & Co., which he hosted for eight years on PBS. He currently hosts an arts interview show “Art in the 48.” He was named Arizona’s first poet laureate in 2013, a post he still holds. I decided to start with one of his best-known books, […]

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On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts by James K. A. Smith Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  My middle daughter handed me this book and said she thought I’d appreciate it, as St. Augustine was offering the hitchhikers guide to the cosmos of wandering hearts—and she was right! The book is a travelogue of the human heart. And a road trip with a prodigal who’s already been where you think you need to go. The book was also timely, as Augustine was a great example of the influence and power of immigrants—he was a “mestizo”—born outside of Carthage in what is today Algeria and wandering the Roman Empire in Italy, which led to what anthropologists call […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, My Special Edition, January, 2022 Issue

  Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, Several author friends have asked what the basis for my passion and concern about Guatemala is, which I answer in my “Special Edition” column in the Arizona Authors Association newsletter. In our Culture Watch, I’ll reflect on the implications of a lack of consensus around the “Build Back Better” plan while the Senate approves a record budget for our military on a bi-partisan basis. Amongst all the craziness, a sense of humor is a must, so I’ve included Just Keep Laughing.  My Writing, Interviews and Reviews, Voices of the Day, and […]

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The Saddest Pleasure, Moritz Thomsen: A Personal Reflection from a Former Peace Corps Volunteer, by Mark D. Walker

News from Eland View this email in your browser Welcome to the Eland Books end of January newsletter. We do hope you’ll enjoy reading it. If you wish to unsubscribe, please use the link in the footer.  The Saddest Pleasure Moritz Thomsen A personal reflection from former Peace Corps Volunteer, Mark D. Walker Moritz Thomsen was an iconic author and figure to his devoted fan base, and before his death in 1991, he had written five extraordinary books. Although we are of different generations and never met, we shared some similar life experiences as Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) involved with […]

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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

With the controversy around critical race theory, which is a cross-disciplinary intellectual and social movement of civil rights scholars and activities who seek to examine the intersection of race and law in the U.S., not to mention the recent assaults on boards of education across the nation by “concerned parents” to assure that their children weren’t confronted by a history which might make them feel “uncomfortable,” this seemed to be an ideal time to pick up this book. Since its first publication in 1995, Lies My Teacher Told Me has become one of the most important history books of our time. Having […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch: A Time to Pause, Reflect & Reset! December 2021

Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, Year-end is always an excellent time to Pause, Reflect and Reset! In our Culture Watch, we’ll look at some images and stories that stood out and will be with us during the coming year. Amongst all the craziness, a sense of humor is a must, so I’ve included Just Keep Laughing.  My Writing, Interviews and Reviews, Voices of the Day, and What Others Are Saying will include highlights of the year and, of course, an updated Calendar. Culture Watch The one story that sticks in my mind this year is the parody […]

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Harsh Times by Mario Vargas Llosa, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  Harsh Times by Mario Vargas Llosa Reviewed by Mark D. Walker I immediately picked up this book upon learning it was available in English, as its story is so relevant to the challenges facing Guatemala today. I’m producing a documentary on immigration and social justice challenges in Guatemala, Trouble in the Highlands, and this book deals with international intrigue and the control of land by international/U.S. corporations. A Peruvian writer, Llosa is one of Latin America’s most significant novelists and some critics consider him to have had a larger international impact and worldwide audience than any other writer in […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, From Winslow, Arizona to Canyon de Chelly & Much More! November Edition, 2021

  From Winslow, Arizona to Canyon de Chelly & So Much More! Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, This month, my latest Million Mile Walker trek took me through two cultures in Arizona. Culture Watch will include an eye-opening survey on the best to worst Presidents in U. S. history, which puts some current events into perspective.  Given all the negative news as of late, I’ve included my Just Keep Laughing segment and, as always, you’ll find My Writing and Reviews, Voices of the Day, What Others Are Saying and an updated Calendar. And click on the poster above to see my Million Mile Walker Review column, and two of my […]

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